people always seem surprised when i tell them that i am not overly bothered about ditching potatoes. it's the truth - i am just not. rich and i never ate that many potatoes anyway and it's not something i would ever have bought regularly. so it's not been a great loss.
but there are days when all you want is something creamy and fluffy to mop up the meaty juices from a gravy or a stew. though i love using green leafy veg to soak up some of the liquid, sometimes only mash will do.
the good news is, it doesn't have to be potato. i have used three different kinds of root vegetables in the past week and i can vouch that they are all pretty amazing.
number one is celeriac. who would have thought it, eh? i think i am actually falling in love with this the ugliest of vegetables. its mash is perfectly textured, with a faint whiff of not so much celery as just something earthy and fresh. it is also amazing in soups, again because of the texture, and raw grated and mixed with mustard and mayonnaise.
to mash, just peel it and cut it into chunks, then boil until tender. drain well, then put in the food processor with a generous knob of butter and lots of salt and pepper. if you have some double cream or creme fraiche, put a little of that in too.
next up, parsnip. seems obvious, right? same cooking method, though you're better off steaming than boiling them - they end up less soggy. they also like a lot of dairy so don't skip the butter and the cream. i'd say the former is absolutely indispensable and the latter is nice to have.
finally, swede. which i suspect isn't called swede in the US. rutabaga? maybe, though i reckon that's a parsnip. which is too watery for a mash, in my opinion. don't eat swede too often but its yellowy buttery mash is actually lovely. again, same cooking method and same warning about steaming and letting them drain properly to avoid the mash being too watery.
you can also combine the three - with each other or with potatoes.
there you have it, mash without spuds. it is seriously good and hits the spot on a cold winter evening. so good i found myself going back to the kitchen to lick the cold parsnip mash off the food processor bowl.
maybe i shouldn't have mentioned that.